One of the Twins 50 Greatest Players – Dave Goltz
David Allan Goltz was born in Pelican Rapids on June 23, 1949 and grew up in Rothsay, Minnesota. The big right hander stood 6’4” and weighed in at about 200 lbs. Goltz was picked by the Minnesota Twins in the 5th round of the 1967 amateur draft, signed soon thereafter for a $10K bonus and began his climb to the big leagues by playing rookie league ball in the Gulf Coast League. Dave’s quest to become a big leaguer was delayed when Uncle Sam knocked on Dave’s door in 1969 and convinced Dave to spend some time in the US Army. In 1970, Goltz was back in the minors but an elbow injury limited him to just 8 innings. Dave worked his way up the minor league ladder in 1971 and 1972 and in July of 1972 a wrist injury to Twins starter Jim Kaat brought Dave Goltz to the big leagues. With that call-up, Dave Goltz went down in Twins history as the first native Minnesotan to be drafted by the Twins and appear in the big leagues as a Minnesota Twin. Dave made his major league debut in relief at Yankee Stadium on July 18th Goltz went on to pitch in 247 games for the Twins between 1972-1979 and currently holds the Twins record for pitching for the Twins for the longest period of time and never having a losing record. Goltz had his best season in 1977 when he led the American League in victories with 20, had an ERA of 3.36 while pitching 303 innings in 39 starts with 186 strikeouts. No-hit fame just eluded Goltz on August 23, 1977 when a Jim Rice single in the fourth inning just over the out-stretched glove of shortstop Roy Smalley dropped in for the only Red Sox hit of the day in the Twins 7-0 victory at Met Stadium.
Goltz became a free agent after the 1979 and ended up signing a six year deal for $3 million (a huge deal at the time) with the Los Angeles Dodgers and that was a very interesting story in itself but you will need to listen to the interview to learn how that came to pass. Goltz struggled with the Dodgers but did manage to get a World Series ring in 1981 when the LA Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic. Dave pitched in relief in two games of the 1981 World Series. But things were not meant to be for Goltz in Dodger land and he was released in 1982 in just the third year of the six year contract and Dave ended up signing with the California Angels where he pitched for the remainder of 1982. In 1983 Goltz got off to a 0-6 start in what turned out to be his only losing season in the big leagues and the Angels released him in July. At the age of 34 with a torn rotator cuff and three children that wanted their Dad home, Goltz walked away from professional baseball.
Goltz has also served as a pitching coach, an assistant coach and as he head coach for Fergus Falls Community College for a number of years after he retired from pro ball. Today Dave Goltz still is employed by Midwest Insurance and lives in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
During the interview Goltz also tells a great story about a cortisone shot that he received for an elbow issue and I don’t want to spoil the story by telling you any more about it, you have to hear it for yourselves. Enjoy!
SABR Baseball Biography Project write-up on Dave can be found here.
The interview with Dave is 30 minutes in length and took place in April 2011.